Review of Madurai Sundar's 2012 Navaratri Concert by Nurani C. Shivaram
A pleasing and soulful concert
Madurai Sunderís Carnatic music concert, under the aegis of Great Lake
Aradhana Committee held on 6th October 2012 in the Baratiya Temple auditorium in
celebration of Navarathri festival was a very pleasing and soulful one. The
turnout was for the concert was pretty good, and over 250 music lovers sat
through the concert with rapt attention and applauded each and every song.
Sunderís forte is the sruthi suddham and sahitya suddham and the selection of
the songs befitting the occasion. He is a dedicated singer and puts his heart
and soul into all phases whether it is raga rendering, singing the kritis,
niraval or presenting the kalpana swarams in his inimitable style. I was amazed
by the manner in which he sang Gana Ragas Kalyani, Kamboji and Bhairavi in quick
succession. It is indeed arduous and strenuous to do this. Ariyakudi Ramanuja
Iyengar was the only musician who would churn out one gana raga after another
Right from the very first song in Kamas, Sunder built up a rapport with the
audience and there was no letup in the tempo and tedium till the end.
The concert also happened to felicitate Professor Trichy Sankaran who was
honored with the title Sangeetha Kalanidhi by the prestigious Music Academy
Chennai, the first artiste from North America. Sri Sankaranís mridangam
accompaniment was of high order and literally enhanced the overall quality of
the concert. I have heard numerous concerts in which his Guru Sri Pazhani
Subramania Pillai had played mridangam. Only he and Palghat Mani Iyer had the
skill and ability to lift the concerts to top level with their percussion
accompaniment. I had attended a concert in the year 1952 in which Palghat Mani
Iyer played mridangam and Pazhani Subbudu (as he was called) played Kanjira. It
was a concert of GNB and Mysore Chowdiah (violin) spread over 5 hours and there
were 2 Thani Avarthanams between Mani Iyer and Subbudu. It kept the audience
roaring in appreciation.
Jaishankar Balan has been displaying admirable ability and brims with confidence
in accompanying eminent singers. He equaled and excelled in Sunderís intricate
and impeccable kalpana swaras in kalyani, kamboji and bhairavi pieces.
Those who could not make it to the concert really missed a memorable evening.
Kudos to GLAC to have come up with a great concert.